The demand for good design “Our aspiration was to create a new sustainable community, not just environmentally, but a place where people would want to live for the long term.” Powell Dobson ARCHITECTS discussing Mariners’ Quay, Newport
“Having higher baseline standards for new build homes, nationally applied, would assist in creating a sustainable and relevant housing quality standard across the board.” National Association of Local Councils
The residents, councils, housing associations, developers and designers we talked to highlighted the growing size, changing demographics and increasing diversity of Britain’s population, and what this meant for the number and types of homes needed over the coming decades. The debate on housing has been distorted by focusing on cold figures such as the number of units or bedrooms. It must be recast around homes, communities and people.
Our research proves people want higher quality housing. The key to profitable house building is to improve the lives of future residents by meeting existing demand for well-designed homes, creating more demand for good homes by raising awareness among buyers of what to look for, and encouraging developers to innovate and raise standards. People will pay for good design. At the Green Street low-energy development in Nottingham the values of the homes rose faster than surrounding properties. This is not the only site we saw with profitable sales achieved by high quality homes. Investing in good design also means, where possible, ending the practice of spending scarce funds refurbishing estates which do not meet residents’ needs. The case study in this report of Woodberry Down in Hackney, London, brilliantly illustrates how a decaying estate can be transformed.
The Way We Live Now © Ipsos MORI and RIBA